2/04/2013 03:00:00 PM

Foodie Find: Toast Crack at Pinch Spice Market

We may have developed a new addiction over the weekend, to a thing called “Toast Crack,” sold at Pinch Spice Market in Bucktown. We don’t think there is a support group for the substance yet, but someone might need to start one. The scent of organic cane sugar infused with orange peel and mixed with sweet Vietnamese cinnamon is intoxicating to say the least.

As the name suggests, the spice blend is best served on freshly buttered toast (like gourmet cinnamon-sugar). That is just the beginnings of possible uses for the spice. Co-owner Thomas McGee suggests adding it to oatmeal, popcorn or a family recipe known as “crack pancakes.” Before the final flip of a pancake, top with pecans and Toast Crack. Flip and let caramelize.

Other notable offerings at Pinch are, well, everything, but if we have to chose, then we pick Tamiz’s Tikka Masala. The recipe comes from chef Tamiz Haiderali at Township in Logan Square. The heady blend includes garam masala, cumin, clove, cinnamon, cayenne and about a dozen other additions.

Pinch will celebrate its first birthday in March. It was opened by two self professed IT nerds, who had a passion for food and wanted to start a small business. They found their calling with an organic spice store that not only sells individual spices, but also custom blends such as Toast Crack.

We stopped in the store for the first time while looking for a seasoning to kick up some vegetables for couscous. What we found was a haven of smells and color, with each jar lining the walls and shelves filled with exotic ingredients. We left with a jar of their lemony Veggie Sprinkle. “Everyone is cooking different things, and we get to explore that through the spices,” McGee said.

This is the first installment of Foodie Finds - a recurring series with our friends at Chicagoist where we explore products created by local artisans.


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